Bowness on Windermere in the Lake District

A stunning area of the Lake District National Park is Bowness on Windermere. Often seen as the jewel in the crown of the Lake District.

About Bowness on Windermere in the Lake District

This thriving town is situated beside Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England, and offers visitors a wide range of things to see and do. In addition to boasting some of the best spa hotels in the Lake District, Bowness-on-Windermere is home to hundreds of quirky shops, restaurants, country pubs and some excellent cultural and historical attractions. If you are planning a trip to the Lake District for the first time, or you are looking for a weekend break or a late deal in the region, check out Bowness spa hotels.

The views from Bowness across Lake Windermere and over to the mountains are some of the best in the Lake District, and the wide range of things to see and do is endless.

Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy golf, walking, hiking, climbing, water-skiing and sailing, or simply cruising down the lake on one of the authentic steam boats. If you prefer to take things a little bit easier, visit the 15th Century church of St Martin´s, which is situated in a beautiful part of the town.

Bowness is popular with all ages as there is so much to do, and the focus is firmly put on the lakeshore of Bowness Bay. Here you can hire a rowing boat, sail on the steamer or enjoy a leisurely stroll around Lake Windermere, which is also the longest (nearly 11 miles) and deepest lake in England at 67 metres.

Popular attractions in Windermere

Elsewhere in Bowness you will find the World of Beatrix Potter, which provides a great day out for the kids. This is a magical recreation of Beatrix Potter´s books, where you can meet Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck and all the characters from her famous stories.

Spa hotels in Bowness-on-Windermere offer full spa facilities and hot tub suites.

Bowness is busy most of the year, and is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere. The town is Cumbria´s most popular destination, so if you prefer a quieter time on holiday, it is best to visit out of season. Lake Windermere is the best waterway in the region for water sports, swimming and yachting, and it is the only lake in the Lake District which has no speed restriction for water traffic. Boat builders and fishermen can be seen at work on the shoreline, and there are plenty of cafés, room to stop at and buy refreshments.

The history of Bowness on Windermere

The Romans and the Vikings once laid claim to Bowness, and it was the Vikings who gave the name ´Bull Ness´ to the town originally. The name changed to Bowness over the years, and it remained a small fishing village until 1847, when the railroad was introduced. Bowness then grew quickly, and hotels began to spring up to accommodate the tourists. Wealthy industrialists built mansions, which later became hotels, and Bowness was planted firmly on the wealthy tourist´s map.

For many years, barges unloaded gravel dredged from the bed of Lake Windermere, where the Steamboat Museum is now situated. Here you can see an impressive collection of Victorian and Edwardian steamboats and motorboats, including the 1850 SL Dolly, which is the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world. The boat lay on the bed of the lake for 67 years before it was salvaged and restored to its former glory.

Why not make the most of your visit to the Lakes and book into a spa hotel in Bowness?

Today boats from Bowness stop at Ambleside and Lakeside and make circle tours of the lake. A steam launch can also be rented for tours of the lake.

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